Satisfaction as a Service

First, let me say that I have utmost respect for American Banker and the breadth of insights and information it consistently provides. But last week I nearly did a spit-take with my morning coffee upon reading the following:

“Young bank customers are wavering in commitment to their primary financial institutions just as Big Tech firms and fintechs are stepping up their game. Although these firms are unlikely to replace banks entirely, they threaten to pull Gen Z and millennial customers away from their traditional financial institutions for some services.”

Unlikely to replace banks — and therefore credit unions — as well?

The way automobiles were unlikely to replace horses? The way streaming was unlikely to disrupt cable? The way e-tailing is unlikely to impact shopping malls? 

Never. Say. Never.

Gen-X? Gen-Z? How About Gen-Human?

Case-in-point: Last year while circumnavigating the country in his RV, a recently retired colleague bought a home in another state … completely on his SmartPhone. Mortgage (yes, via a fintech), escrow, title and funds transfer all completed via cell service and Docusign. No Gen Z’er and now fully re-located in another state, he’s still yet to step foot inside his bank – the one he’s been “loyal” to for 25+ years.

But my company has an inherent interest in the future of credit union HQ’s and branches. At the end of the day, advising our clients and transacting on their behalf is what sustains our business. But I’m not naïve: Credit union members don’t have to do business with you face-to-face. And if they don’t need your facilities, then you don’t need us.

But many of your members will want you to have branches – that is, as long as they continue to recognize and receive a true benefit in your presence.

In another recent post, (sans spit-take), American Banker cited fifty domestic banks and credit unions that scored highest in customer/member satisfaction based on the following research criteria.

  • Behavioral: The physical and digital interactions people have with financial institutions.
  • Intellectual: The functional benefits offered by financial institutions that consumers think about when going through their mental decision making checklists.
  • Emotional: The implicit motivators that define what people feel about their banks and credit unions.
  • Sensorial: The visual, auditory and olfactory senses people connect with the physical and digital environments created by financial institutions.

This is a great checklist and we’re proud to say that one of our clients – Suncoast Credit Union – ranked third on the entire list! Here’s the post about Suncoast and how they are achieving this success.

Sensing Something?

In so many ways, the past 2-½ years have proven that nearly everything in our professional lives are subject to change: How and where we do business and who we conduct it with. But one thing has and will not change – and that is satisfaction.

How you satisfy the behavioral, intellectual, emotional and sensorial needs of your members, staffs, vendors and community-at-large. Whether in a branch, on a screen, in an office, or in a chance meeting out in the world, every interaction is an opportunity to listen, share and enhance the quality of your relationships.

Like Suncoast, those who do that well and consistently will thrive, regardless of when their members were born.

Corey A. Waite is a leading commercial real estate advisor to the financial services industry. As Founder and CEO of Rubicon Concierge Real Estate Services, Corey works directly with senior executives coast-to-coast to deliver strategic plans and transactional services focused on optimizing the needs of employees, clients and members.

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